American hotels are replacing baths with shower cabins
A large number of hotels in the USA over the past few years have dramatically reduced the number of baths that they have fitted in their bathrooms. Meanwhile, the number of shower cabins installed has increased markedly. An interesting trend: the more up-market the hotel, the more likely it is that instead of a bath a comfortable and multifunctional shower cabin is in the en-suite. The reason for this situation is generally given as the concept of “green” refurbishment; design from the ecological point of view.
Not so long ago, a large-scale competition for the title of “green” hotel took place across the United States. Naturally, the focus was by no means on interior colour schemes, but on the hotel’s actual energy efficiency and resource conservation standards.
The winner was announced as one of the most prestigious hotels in Los Angeles. Over the past couple of years, the hotel building was subject to refurbishment and significant modifications, resulting in the amount of water used and energy consumption being decreased by orders of magnitude.
One of the main policy decisions taken by the hotel management was a complete removal of baths and their replacement by shower cabins in all the rooms. It was reported that guests were very satisfied with this approach, because a daily bathing experience was very much felt to be no less pleasant in a shower than taking a bath. In addition, many people felt that such procedures should be recommended for health reasons. Consequently, the problem of overspending on water was solved by installing new plumbing. With regard to energy savings, experts turned to the concept of indirect heating of buildings through the walls by the Trombe method.
Trombe Walls are named after their creator – French inventor Felix Trombe. He first designed walls to accumulate heat. The idea is as follows: material with a high density, for example, brick, is constructed in such a way that the distance from it to a glass wall is some 10 cm. The space between the brick and glass walls is then filled with water, subsequently heated by the sun. For better absorption of solar radiation, Trombe Walls are, as a rule, made in dark colours.
Work on the reconstruction of the hotel was completed with the installation of large floor-to-ceiling windows. Through these windows there is then plenty of natural light inside the hotel, which allows the use of artificial lighting to be minimised.
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